Way Back Apparently These Things Were Considered Fashionable 50 Years Ago Published 3 months ago on Nov 28, 2018 By Eric Sumner While fashion choices fade in and out, it’s only normal to see a comeback of certain trends years later. What’s more, there is nothing more nostalgic than looking back on clothing, accessories, hairstyles, pastimes, and more for some inspiration and reminiscing. While it seems like we have come a long way after 50 years, some things never change. It’s also interesting to see what people appreciated in the past as opposed to the present. Read on to learn the things men found trendy about women 1960s – some of them are bound to be quite strange to the modern reader. 1. Mini Skirts Every young generation seeks to rebel against the established social norms of its time, and that often involves setting themselves apart from the older generation physically. One of the biggest fashion statements of the late 1960s was the miniskirt. As Akiko Fukai wrote in Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century, the fashion statement “developed through various conceptual stages in the 1960s.” pinterest.com Miniskirts might seem just like another garment choice today, but 50 years ago they were truly revolutionary and changed the way women picked their outfit ensembles. Attention was increasingly paid to the length and shape of the skirt paired with shoes and the top garments. 2. Tall Boots The miniskirts of the late ’60s were not only iconic at the time, but they so thoroughly caught the attention of everyone at the time that they stuck around for the ’70s – and the ’80s, and the ’90s. And, well, they’re certainly still around today! But more than that, the skirts brought with them a different fashion trend that society fancied on women at the time. harpersbazaar.com It made sense that a miniskirt influenced the shoe styles women picked at the time. Indeed, tall, pointed boots came into fashion in the late ’60s, complementing the miniskirt trend. Initially worn by teen dancers, it didn’t take long for the boots to be introduced to high fashion – and by then, everyone was wearing them. 3. Long, Straight Hair In a time period well-known for its departure from formality and established tradition, hair styles adopted by women – and men, for that matter – served to buck the status quo. Women rebelled against the highly constructed, high-maintenance hairdos of the previous generation in the ’60s. Mirror The men of the time loved it so much that they did it too! The very short haircuts expected of fine young gentlemen were replaced by grown-out hair – and thus, the precursor to the hippie counterculture that would dominate the decade after was born. Keep reading, there are other things the ladies of the ’60s did that might surprise you. 4. Beehives It’s simply a fact: People in the 1960s loved a woman with a good beehive. Chicago hairstylist Margaret Vinci Heldt invented the hairdo in 1960, likely not knowing she was kicking off the decade with a new trend that would still be discussed 60 years later. Indeed, not everyone knows the style was initially developed to fit into the hollow of the then popular fez-style hats. Hulton Archive/Getty Images That’s right, the beehive was intended to prevent the most annoying phenomenon ever known to men and women: hair-hair. And while the hairstyle perfectly embodies much of the ’60s, it has lasted the test of time. Think Amy Winehouse, Adele and Marge Simpson. There are other dos and don’ts – read on to discover them. 5. Vinyl, Vinyl, Vinyl! As the 1960s progressed, an era of informality in clothing was imported to the United States from Europe. Dress codes became more relaxed, as major public figures like Jackie Kennedy wore shorter skirts (embracing the miniskirt movement), tailoring loosened and Americans began wearing more accessories, much like their European counterparts. Terry Disney/Getty Images It was this period in fashion that ushered in the vinyl clothes that have become so emblematic of the decade, although younger generations might associate the word “vinyl” with the modern hipster subculture. It’s a perhaps fitting association though, considering both ’60s fashion and present day hipster culture are symbols of rebellion against conservative dress and attitudes. 6. Being Demure As much as the 1960s were a time of revolutionary change in many aspects of American life – including gender relations – people still expected women to be housewives and homemakers who submit to their husbands. Despite a major shift toward gender equality, ads from the era, as popularized today by the show Mad Men, proved women didn’t have the same rights as men and were expected to behave differently by society. Hulton Archive/Getty Images It might shock some to discover that even by the end of the decade, banks were legally allowed to deny unmarried women credit cards. Some states still banned women from serving on juries. Women were also overwhelmingly denied entry to Ivy League colleges, too – Columbia University was one of the last to offer admission to women in 1981. 7. Ladylike Drinking Yes, it’s true that the 1960s are widely regarded as a decade-long day drinking event. A party atmosphere was indeed the norm – especially at work. But it’s also true that women were largely excluded from the party. Even as the number of women who were defying the gender stereotypes of the time and entering the workforce was increasing, such extracurricular activities were still largely considered a man’s hobby. William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images Society expected women to retain what has traditionally been considered a ladylike posture – a glass of wine or two with dinner was fine, but more than that was generally frowned upon. And this view was backed by the advertising and mainstream media of the day. 8. Twiggy Inspires Many Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, curvaceous women like Marilyn Monroe set the standard for everyone else. Indeed, Monroe remains today one of the biggest feminine icons in history. However, that standard changed as the decade progressed, whereby different women took center stage as the paragon of femininity. Keystone/Getty Images As Professor of Psychology, Health and Wellbeing Sarah Grogan wrote, “there was also a significant move toward slimness.” By the time the late ’60s rolled around, the trend was visibly more pronounced, when British fashion models like Twiggy replaced Monroe as the role model for a generation of young women. Models were becoming “thinner and thinner,” Grogan wrote. 9. Fair Skin The 1960s are known for being the peak of the Civil Rights movement, which did succeed in helping to create positive change by the end of the decade. Laws that prevented interracial marriage were struck down in 1967, and legal justice was beginning to prevail in the battle for racial equality. But in practice, racism and racial prejudice was still rampant. Hulton Archive/Getty Images As such, lighter skin was seen as more desirable on women at the time. Even at the end of the 1960s, the Miss America Pageant didn’t allow African-American contestants. Within the African-American community, preference was given to lighter skin as well. Some of this attitude persists to this day. According to Time in 2016, “dark skin is demonized and light skin wins the prize.” 10. Looking Bored All The Time One of the more ridiculous taboos at the time was against women appearing intelligent. Coupled with the expectation that an eligible bachelorette aspires to be no more than a housewife and stay-at-home-mom, women in effect often appeared bored at the time. Again, this phenomenon was brought to the forefront with famous women like models Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. Evening Standard/Getty Images Indeed, a lack of smarts was considered feminine and desirable at the time – and, as such, intelligence was frowned upon. An August 1965 issue of Cosmopolitan titled “38 Ways to Coddle a Man,” suggests to women that “If you know exactly why his motor is sluggish (his car motor) don’t say so.” 11. Androgyny The change that embodied the 1960s didn’t end with improving race relations – it was also a period that kick-started the women’s liberation movement and challenged previous gender norms and notions of femininity. In the fashion world, that translated into the rise of unisex clothing and androgynous styles. Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Much like in the roaring 1920s, this trend was associated with a growing sense of independence for women. The androgynous look also went hand-in-hand with the slim, boyish look that people so desired in women at the time, with supermodel and 1960s icon Twiggy leading the way for women everywhere. It was a style that was part of a broader theme, as you’ll soon learn. 12. Going Bra-less As is true for many movements, the revolt against traditional gender norms heavily influenced fashion during the late 1960s. But it went deeper than just popular miniskirts and pointed boots – the rebellion changed the way America viewed undergarments as well. Michael Stroud/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Many women began going bra-less as a political protest, and it soon became all the rage thanks to fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Models wearing his fine designs often opted for a more liberated, bra-less look. So, while the trend began as a play to assert equality between men and women, it became so popular that women everywhere were doing it. 13. Lighting One Up In what might seem like some kind of bizarre alternate universe to today’s young generation in America that often glorifies women partying but generally snubs cigarette smoking, the act of smoking was actually considered attractive 50 years ago. Now, it’s not that the negative effects of smoking hadn’t been established before – they had. Express/Express/Getty Images “Cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action,” the surgeon general warned in 1964. Nevertheless, society considered it glamorous and alluring when women smoked. The tobacco industry took advantage of the politics of the time, too, by rendering smoking as the embodiment of gender equality. 14. Working Out! By the end of the 1960s, athletic women were all the rage – but perhaps not for the same reason people find athletic women attractive today. Women began playing more and more sports throughout the decade in high school and college, but for them, athletics were viewed as a way for women to maintain healthy bodies. Pinterest Female athletes certainly weren’t taken as seriously as their male counterparts were, but it was a start. By 1972, the U.S. Congress passed a law that helped appropriate funding for women’s sports. By 1987, there was a woman athlete on the cover of Sports Illustrated! 15. Unemployment It’s another paradox of the time. Women were entering the workforce in droves by the late 1960s – more women than ever were working outside of the home – but working women still weren’t viewed in a positive light. Although it was considered more acceptable for single women to work, a woman’s place was still largely considered to be with her family. Ken Harding/BIPs/Getty Images Forty-four percent of married couples lived in a household with two income earners, compared with more than half of married couples today. Indeed, middle-class women who chose to take a job were more stigmatized. If they were to enter the workforce, society expected them to do so at a later point, after their children were already grown up. 16. Leg Makeup Just as the rise of Kylie Jenner today inspired the widespread use of the Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit, the rise of the miniskirt in the 1960s drove women to use a different kind of cosmetic – leg makeup. It wasn’t the first time makeup had been used on women’s legs. During World War II, particularly, women drew stocking seams on their legs due to a stocking shortage. kidskunst.info This trend, too, reflected the conflict within women during the ’60s. They were beginning to embrace and take pride in their bodies in the spirit of women’s liberation, but still felt intense pressure to conform to society’s standards of how they should look. 17. Coddling One way to get an idea of what people expected of women 50 years ago is to look through women’s magazines from the time, which often reflect the way they were expected to act around others. One article in the August 1965 issue of Cosmopolitan is titled “38 Ways to Coddle a Man.” The headline says it all. Michael Webb/Getty Images Some of the bullets in the article are quite telling. It suggests wives shouldn’t wake their husbands in the middle of the night to say they’re feeling lonely because they may have a tough day ahead and need the sleep, that they should take a course in Swedish massage to so they can help their husbands relax after work, and that they should “give him your full, rapt, before-marriage attention when he’s telling you what happened at the office.” 18. Taking The Blame Not only was a woman of the 1960s expected to be submissive and subservient to her husband, but if anything were to go wrong in her marriage, she was the one to blame. That meant that even if her husband were in the wrong, she had to be patient with him, because it was never his fault. Pinterest In the ’60s, a magazine called Ladies’ Home Journal ran a series of features titled “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” in the features, a male therapist named William Zehv weighed in on issues average couples were facing. A recurring theme in his advice was to urge women to better understand their husbands, in a spirit that now might appear contrary to the women’s liberation movement of the time. Surprised? Keep reading. 19. Not Kissing On The First Date As strange as it might sound considering kissing on the first date has almost become standard courtship practice today, it was considered promiscuous of women back in the ’60s. Women were still generally held to traditional standards of chastity and femininity in many public spaces – especially dating. Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Indeed, a girl going on a first date was expected to dress in a modest way and avoid anything that could be seen as promiscuous to avoid being stigmatized. At the same time, though, a woman on a date needed to be fun and spontaneous – not too intense – as to not scare away her date. It’s a tightrope act of which the women’s liberation movement of the time sought to rid the world. 20. Marching And Saluting? Big No-No One of the many restrictions on women still in place throughout the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s was on attending military academies. Apparently, something about the idea of marching and saluting was deemed un-ladylike. Once again, it is an example of the confusion that abounded regarding gender roles at the time. Keystone/Getty Images Most people at the time preferred a housewife to a soldier-in-the-making. Nevertheless, the feminist movement that gained so much traction in the ’60s made undeniable strides in this area as well. West Point Academy accepted its first female students in 1976! It’s unclear how the men on the 70s felt about dating a West Point student, but it’s safe to say they were warming to the idea. 21. Not Bumming Cigarettes As incredibly alluring and attractive as it was considered for a woman to light up a cigarette and take a few puffs, like many other aspects of women’s lives in the ’60s, this one was regulated as well. Once a lady takes up a cigarette habit – which was considered totally fine – it was important for her to know when and where a smoke was appropriate. filmnoirphotos.blogspot.com According to an etiquette guide for the young ladies of the time written by Peg Bracken and titled I Try to Behave Myself, elevators were not appropriate places for a woman to smoke. A smoking lady should also, according to Bracken, always carry her own cigarettes because “no man will marry a woman who’s always bumming theirs.” Still, there are other things people expected of women 50 years ago that might surprise you. 22. Women Who Run Marathons? Forget It It’s true that athleticism was coming into fashion in the late 1960s, as women with thin frames were replacing the Marilyn Monroe bod as the prevailing beauty standards and athleticism was seen as promoting that more petite figure. But heavens forbid women actually want to compete in an important sporting event! Jezebel Women in the 1960s were barred from participating in many major sporting events and marathons, one of which was the legendary Boston Marathon, which remained officially all-male until 1972. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer ran unofficially after registering under the gender neutral “K. V. Switzer.” It was another glass ceiling to be broken in the 1960s. 23. Be Cher One way for a woman to attract a man in the late 1960s would be to somehow become Cher – or, at least dress like her. Otherwise known as the Goddess of Pop, Cher was iconic at the time for breaking into a male-dominated industry and doing it with the style of the day. Vogue Sporting long, straight hair, a rail-thin figure and the fashion designs that were so popular at the time, Cher was the object of great interest before and during the hippie era – and, frankly, after as well. Young women all over the country looked up to the fashion powerhouse to help them fill their wardrobe. 24. The Twiggy Eyelashes British cultural icon Lesley Lawson, popularly known as “Twiggy,” embodied the androgynous look of the late ’60s that every young girl in America aspired to adopt. Beyond her legendary big eyes and short-hair look, though, there was something else Twiggy was known for that the people of the era absolutely loved. aliceinnappyland.com In addition to her general frame, Twiggy popularized the thick, long eyelashes that the younger generation today generally associated with the Kardashian clan these days with different mascara formulas. In addition to Britain, Twiggy modeled in France, Japan and the U.S. – even landing the covers of Vogue and The Tatler. 25. Having The Blues The burdensome societal restrictions placed on women in the years after The Second World War drove them to a breaking point by the late 1960s, according to what Betty Friedan’s 1963 bestseller, The Feminine Mystique. Women had grown smaller, more traditionally feminine and much sadder since the war’s end. Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images The still-relevant feminine icon Marilyn Monroe had died in 1962, and another, Sylvia Plath, a year later – the blues were in the air. It was a time when an exaggerated version of femininity was imposed on women across the nation, and by the late ’60s, women were sick and tired of it. It was that sentiment that propelled the women’s liberation movement to the forefront and led to the kind of change that became even more visible in the ’70s. Sources: VICE, The Guardian, thelist.com, UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... 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